RELEASED BY : Steamhammer
RELEASE DATE : October 25, 2013
GENRE : Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
Leon Sibum,John Emmen
01. World Arena
02. Tears From The Moon
03. Raintime Preload
06. Back To Square One
10. Piece Of Cake
11. Goodbye Mother Sky
Few bands have continually tread the line between Hard Rock and Heavy Metal as Dutch darlings VENGEANCE. Why they never became a bigger deal to the Western world is anyone’s guess, but most people that are familiar with the band would agree that they are severely under-rated outside of their homeland. The band’s 1989 release ARABIA (featuring a young Arjen Lucassen) is, and will likely always be classed as their greatest achievement, but that doesn’t mean the band haven’t put out some great material since then. They spent a few years and made a couple of albums with Ian Parry (Consortium Project) as front-man after an unfortunate rift with Leon Goewie, and after a couple of false-starts the band reunited with Goewie and have been full-steam ahead since with PIECE OF CAKE being their fourth release in the last seven years.
Musically PIECE OF CAKE takes up right where the 2012 release CRYSTAL EYE left off, with the band’s trademark Rock/Metal hybrid in full-swing. Overall though it seems a better album that it’s predecessor and features more highlight moments too. The dual guitar attack and shred style lead breaks should be enough to get anybody with a rock ‘n roll heart excited, and if at all possible, flamboyant and enigmatic front-man Leon Goewie sounds at least just as good as ever, of not better. His unique phrasing and strong vibrato feature heavily on each track, and that banshee wail needs to be heard to be believed. Bonus points for the production too..A nice, thick sound with a very punchy guitar tone and tasty snare drum.
VENGEANCE sound great here on the more straightforward and rocked up tunes like WORLD ARENA, RAINTIME, HEADQUAKE and the party-rock title track PIECE OF CAKE. But where the album truly shines is when the band add a more bluesy feel in tracks like TEARS FROM THE MOON, TRAIN and the slightly Led Zeppelin-esque closing tune GOODBYE MOTHER SKY. The anomaly here is the first single from the album, BACK TO SQUARE ONE. At it’s base it’s a big, bluesy, power ballad; but there is actually more to it than that. Whether deliberate or not, the rhythm and lead guitar work here reminds me a lot of something that the late Gary Moore would have come up with, complete with a similar tone to Moore’s signature sound too. When combined with the emotional vocals and slightly tongue-in-cheek lyrics of Leon Goewie the combination is a real winner and I can’t possibly say anything but good things about this stand-out tune. The band have done a couple of ballads in the past, probably the most noticeable being AS THE LAST TEARDROP FALLS which was recorded during the Ian Parry era, but this new one trumps all before it and stands as the band’s finest ever slow moment.
The only slight complaint I have with this album is the artwork. I realize that in this digital-based age there is less and less importance placed on artwork and the like, but the band have opted for a look here that, to me at least, cheapens the stellar work to be found within. From a musical only point of view though, PIECE OF CAKE is easily the best lot of music VENGEANCE have recorded since reuniting with their front-man and in it’s finer moments comes close to rivaling anything they have done in the past.
Written by Zeezee